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Boston — In his 2013 Budget proposal released today, Governor Deval Patrick recommended funding for a new initiative within State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). The new unit will use data analysis technology to prevent and stop fraud within the Commonwealth’s public benefit system.
“I thank Governor Patrick for placing a priority on the integrity of the Commonwealth’s public benefit system,” said Auditor Bump
BSI, a division of the Auditor’s office charged with investigating cases of welfare fraud, currently acts in reaction to complaints and information made available by external sources. The new unit of five investigators will draw its own information from state benefit rolls and create cases proactively.
For the past three fiscal years BSI, with a total budget of $5.2 million, identified over $13 million in fraud. At a cost of less than $470,000, the new unit will provide a profitable return on investment each year with additional uncovered fraud and abuse in public benefits programs and focus its energies on areas of greatest risk.
“It’s a money maker,” said Auditor Bump. “For every dollar spent on BSI the Commonwealth sees almost $2.50 in identified fraud. The use of new technology in these new positions will enable us to go on the offensive against fraud. We cannot afford to be merely reactive.”
“This is a great example of collaboration across government to ensure that our public benefits programs are run efficiently and effectively, and those who need public assistance are the ones who receive it,” said Auditor Bump.